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Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte tests positive for Covid-19

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte tested positive for Covid-19 Monday after experiencing mild symptoms on Sunday, according to his office.

The Republican governor will isolate for 10 days in accordance with his doctor’s instructions and public health guidance and plans to work from home, his office said in a statement released on Monday.

Montana’s first lady, Susan Gianforte, has also tested positive for Covid-19, according to the governor’s press secretary Brooke Stroyke. The first lady was diagnosed Tuesday after having been tested the day before and exhibiting no symptoms.

The governor received his first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday, and — having exhibited no symptoms — he attended Easter service at his church, Stroyke said. He wore a mask throughout the service and had no close contacts there aside from members of his family, she added.

The governor’s staff was set to be tested for the virus Tuesday morning as a precautionary measure and everyone with whom the governor has come in close contact has been notified.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says building immunity after vaccination “typically takes a few weeks,” meaning an individual could test positive before the vaccine kicked in. Vaccination prevents disease and severity of disease.

Gianforte has urged Montanans to get vaccinated and on April 1 opened up vaccines to residents 16 years and older. In February, he let the statewide mask mandate expire, but said that local communities may continue to enforce mandates.

“Since we’re not out of the woods yet, I will continue to wear a mask, and I will encourage all Montanans to do the same,” the governor said during a February bill signing ceremony.

Gianforte is the latest US governor to test positive for Covid-19 after Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy tested positive for Covid-19 in February. At least eight other governors, both Democrats and Republicans, had tested positive for the virus last year, with at least a dozen others who had to quarantine after potential exposure to Covid-19.

Last summer, Gianforte, who took office in January, self-quarantined and suspended in-person campaigning for his gubernatorial bid after his wife and running mate attended an event with Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., who tested positive for coronavirus.

This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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